Things long buried are discovered setting up the future of DS9 and Bajor itself. Originally aired on April 29, 1998, this is The Reckoning.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined
After an ancient tablet is found Sisko and team discover that time of The Reckoning may be upon Bajor and major events are soon put into play.
Planning their defense against the Dominion in order to protect Vulcan, Sisko and the senior staff prepare for the worst. While recent events have turned the tables, stress is still high. Despite the ongoing war, Sisko, Kira and Jake plan a trip to Bajor to visit a Bajoran archaeological dig where Bajoran Archaeologists have discovered something important.
In the ruins, Jake makes it clear to Kira that he is not happy being forced to join them on their field trip. Following one of the monks, they are soon shown a tablet that specifically welcomes The Emissary to the 30,000 year old location. Suddenly Ben is pulled into a Prophetic Vision where he is told that it is not the time of The Reckoning and that the upcoming events will be the end, or the beginning. Waking from the vision Ben is thrown back, knocked unconscious from the experience.
Ben informs the monk and his companions of his vision. Soon they beam the tablet to the station where Dax begins analyzing the inscription for more information. While Dax attempts to translate the ancient text, Ben Sisko finds himself considering attending a Bajoran service when he is surprised by a visit from Kai Winn. Upon arrival, Winn makes it clear she is not happy that Sisko removed an artifact without her consent. When he explains that he believes the Prophets wanted him to remove the artifact clearly causing Winn some distress.
After Winn submits a formal protest to the Federation causing Sisko to be asked to return the tablet, The Captain realizes he needs to speed up his analysis or lose what the Prophets have sent him. As he discusses the matter with Dax, she discovers that the tablet indicates that there is a chance Deep Space Nine will be destroyed.
Before long, the station is rocked by strange reactions from the Wormhole, causing everyone aboard to begin to worry about the prophetic writings. As Kira and Odo explore their new relationship, Kira indicates that she wishes that they could determine what the Prophets are asking for. Meanwhile, Sisko is confronted by Kai Winn who believes that he has angered the Prophets by removing the Tablet from it’s home. She soon demands that the relic be turned over immediately and threatens the relations between the Federation and Bajor. Giving in, Sisko agrees to return the tablet despite his insistence that he needs to learn more. Returning to Dax, she indicates that she has reached an impasse in her translations.
As the station continues to be affected by the strange reactions from the Wormhole, Jake visits his father and indicates that he is worried about his father. Jake has concerns over his fathers role as Emissary. Ben acknowledges his sons concerns and, that night finds it hard to sleep. Determined to find an answer, Ben visits the artifact and demands answers from the Prophets. Smashing the artifact, Ben accidentally releases something from the tablet and realizes that he may have made a huge mistake. Contacting Dax and Odo about his actions, he tells them about what he saw but they can find no evidence of it having occurred. Sisko tells Dax and Odo that he believes that the Prophets wanted him to destroy the tablet.
Sisko explains this issue with Kai Winn who is clearly distraught over the matter. He explains that the Prophets wanted this even though he is unclear why they asked him to break the artifact. Just as they begin debating over the events, Ben is called to the Promenade where he finds Kira possessed by something. The entity in Kira identifies itself as one of the Prophets and informs them that ‘it is time’ for the Reckoning. She then tells Sisko that she awaits The Kosst Amojan. Winn indicates that the being the Prophet awaits is ‘the evil one’ who was cast out of the Celestial Temple.
Even though the senior staff have found a way to stop the Prophet from her task using Chroniton Emitters, Sisko orders the station evacuated as there is a chance it will be destroyed in a battle between good and evil. Soon, however, Ben discovers that Jake has been possessed by the Pah Wraith and, despite his pleas, it has chosen it’s vessel and will not leave Jake’s body.
Soon the battle begins and, despite the threat to Jake and Kira’s lives (and the station itself), Sisko refuses to prevent the battle from commencing. Evacuating the station, Dax informs Worf that they are leaving the station with Kai Winn but she soon loses track of Bajor’s spiritual leader. On the Promenade, Sisko is shocked when the Chroniton emitters are activated, preventing the battle from being finished. Kai Winn asks for forgiveness having been the one who activated the device.
With Jake recovering in the infirmary, Kai Winn finds her way off the station and is stopped by Kira who confronts The Kai concerning Winn’s actions. Kira tells Winn that, due to her lack of faith, the Reckoning was stopped prematurely and, now not even the Prophets know what Bajor’s fate will be. Kai Winn has released Evil into the world by stopping their one good chance to give Bajor the promised time of peace.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is a prime example of a great use of a new creature or villian that was originally setup as a one off. The Pah-Wraiths were initially just a cool enemy that possessed Keiko in the episode The Assignment (remember him?), after that single event they kinda disappeared, until now that is.
This episode essentially resets the stage giving us more of a focus on the events around Bajor than the continuing battle with the Dominion. In a way, this single moment gets the series back to it’s roots with the fate of Bajor now more important than anything else. Like Earth is in most of the comics, Bajor is now seen as a massive linchpin in the fate of the galaxy so it only makes sense that the story would start it’s ending where it all began.
We learn a lot about Kai Winn in this one. For so long she came across as a very arrogant leader who frankly was more concerned about her success than that of Bajor itself. In this journey we finally got to a point where she had started accepting Sisko’s place in the hierarchy of the Bajoran religion. She finally saw Sisko as the Emissary and made it clear she would do anything to support him in his pursuit to bring Bajor into the Golden era. The problem was, she never really had the faith necessary to allow herself to keep on this path. All of her attempt to be what she was not finally comes to a head fully revealing what we always suspected, she sees herself as the savior of Bajor. No matter how beneficial to Bajor, if she is not involved, Kai Winn will do everything in her power to stop it from happening. Winn is the ultimate narcissist and, due to this, nearly destroys the one thing she claims to love.
Overall, an episode with some serious implications that sets up the rest of the series in a way that really changes everything.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We see more of the Kira/Odo (Kodo? Odra?) relationship. While I am not a big fan of this, I can appreciate that they do work well together.
- This marks the first mention of the Kosst Amojan. Trust me, it will not be the last.
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Late To The Game 3/26/2022 (Originally published 1/22/2020)
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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